UPDATE: The Title and the Illustration of SteemShort #3 have been Chosen (2018-02-13)
The Title of SteemShort #3 is:
THIS IS MY STORY
proposed by @mr-aaron, one of the three authors of the story.
The illustration with the most upvotes (29) has been created by @sistem
He had a bell in his hand which he struck several times. He also said series of prayers and paused to sing a song or two at interval as he prayed.
SteemShort #3 - Post 4: Request for an Illustration and the Title of the Story
SteemShorts are short stories written collaboratively by three different authors and illustrated by an artist/photographer.
The process to create a SteemShort is described in this post: SteemShorts: Collaborative Short Stories.
This is the request for an illustration and the title of the story.
Each of the three authors may proposed a title for the story, in a comment.
If more than one author propose a title, the chosen title will be the one with the largest number of upvotes four days after this post has been published.
Artists and photographers should send their proposed illustration in a comment.
The width should be between 1,000 and 1,500 pixels.
The height should be between 500 and 1,000 pixels.
The image/photograph can be in black and white or in color.
For the chosen illustration, the artist/photographer needs to be the single author and has to agree for a "Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike" (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode).
To vote for an author, readers need to send 0.01 STEEM or 0.01 SBD to @steemshorts, with a memo that starts with "# SteemShort #3 Post 4 " followed by the username of the illustrator. The character '#' is important, as it makes the memo only readable by @steemshorts. Any memo that does not start with '#' will not be considered. Each artist/photographer may submit only one illustration.
So, artists and photographers, send your proposed illustrations.
And authors, send your proposals for the title of the story.
And, readers, vote for your preferred illustrator sending 0.01 STEEM or SBD to @steemshorts with a valid memo starting with '#'.
Here is the full text of the story, by @cwen, @mr-aaron and @gerald.knows:
|Good morning my husband -12:17|
|Hope you are doing great? Just checking up on you.|
|I haven’t heard from you for a while now.|
|Do have a blessed day -12:17|
|Good morning my husband – 16:19|
|How are you doing? -16:20|
|It’s been a long while – 16:21|
|Good Morning My husband – 14:42|
|Have a blessed day today – 16:10|
|How is your day going my husband? It’s been awhile I heard from you. – 14:25|
|Voice call declined -20:47|
|You haven’t communicated to me or picked my calls for months now.|
|What exactly have I done to deserve this ill treatment? -22:10|
|Voice call declined -21:58|
|When will you call me? I don’t feel loved anymore. You are acting like I mean nothing to you.|
|You have not spoken or picked up my calls for months now.|
|How do you expect me to feel towards you when next I see you?|
You can move on, don’t worry about me.
I won’t be coming back there again.
|What?! – 22:10|
You heard me!!!
^^Screenshot sent^^ -22:12
He is so callous, so unrepentant. You have sent him all these texts yet no response.
This is the third time he is asking you to forget about the marriage.
You have sent pictures of your ovulation signs to him.
Asked four different people to entreat on your behalf;
He gave them four different reasons for his actions.
You thought it was all about your inability to conceive.
I told you it’s not!
He is yet to give you a genuine reason for his actions.
Now he has added injury to Insult by blocking you from all social media.
He is simply telling you to get out of his life. Yet you keep texting!
Aren’t you tired of crying every night?
Aren’t you tired of lonely sad nights?
Aren’t you tired of loving him?
Why do you keep demanding for love where it does not exist?
|He is my husband. – 22:18|
He is not A HUSBAND!
Are you crying?!
|Missed Video Call – 22:38|
Pick up my video call
|HE IS MY HUSBAND!|
Queen cannot decide my marriage is over for me, I refuse to believe these messages hubby sends me or his silence to me. It is the Devil’s manipulations at work!
No, I must not faint, I have to be strong! I can’t let the world laugh at me, there must be a solution to all this craziness going on. This is beyond me, who do I run to? All his siblings have given me the cold shoulder telling me our marriage is none of their business. I can see them laughing at me already; they have gathered to laugh at me for no reason, see them- eating their tasteless meals and liking their fingers in relish; happy to know my marriage to their brother is over; why would another person’s pain give them joy? God knows I did them no wrong.
Yes God! God can do it! I must get up now .The cock has crowed. It must be 3 A.M now. I need to pack few of my clothing for this journey. I must win this battle! The sleepless nights I have had for months now must end.
Who could that be banging on my Gate at this ungodly hour? Why would anyone come bother me so early?
“Oh, it’s you Queen”
“Yes, of course it’s me. I could not sleep knowing you are here all alone after that text message and your refusal to pick my calls. Open the gate please”
I could feel Queen’s eyes from behind me watching me closely and suspiciously, I know. Well, I don’t blame her, the last time I got that rude message I opted for suicide; had her instincts not told her to come visit me at that time, I might have been dead now. Well, the truth is I thought my life at that moment was over; thank God I think differently now; for I have put my trust in God and now I know what to do.
I should tell Queen I am better now, she needs not worry like this about me.
“Queen, You see am not suicidal anymore………...”
“Really? With all the garbage in your bin and plates on the floor still there since two days ago I last visited you?”
“You see, I really mean it………”
“Look Adanma, this is not you. You would never keep your room this untidy with clothes scattered everywhere else but the closets. I am so worried about you! Your last drama still shocks me till date. You no longer try to look good. Your Hair unkempt for over 3 months now and your invisibility on your social media; what is that?! You were the Kim Kardashian of us all. You should have moved past all this with all my support and pep talks, He is not worth your tears, don’t you want to get a better man? How would anyone know you exist? There are other men out th…”
“Stop it Queen! He is still my Husband, why should I think of another man?” I had to stop Queen’s rants she cannot weaken my resolve to fix this marriage.
“My marriage is still fixable…..”
“No, you can’t fix it alone! How can you fix a marriage when one partner is hell bent on destroying it?”
“Sure I can’t fix it alone. I have another partner that can fix it. I am on my way to see him!”
“I am going to the Mountain.” I could see bewilderment dancing around Queen’s eyes; so I took her hands and prod her to kneel beside me.
“You see, I hardly make a Prayer on my Knees, today I am going to pray a special prayer and you will be my witness, I am going to a Mountain to seek God’s face, if my prayers will not be answered on this mission then He can take my life…..”
Queen snatched her hands from me and jumped up to her feet.
“You are still suicidal Adanma!!! Please you have to stop all these nonsense talk, Have you ever had a different perspective to this? Perhaps God wants you to avoid a pitfall that may happen in that marriage. What if He is dead? Wouldn’t you move on?”
“But he is not dead!” I shouted trying hard to fight this one drop of tear blurring my vision.
“Sorry I shouted but he is not dead. He is alive. People would laugh at me, they would say I was a bad wife or maybe I am barren or say lots of vile things about me, I would be labelled as someone who couldn’t keep her marriage together. Can’t you see? I need to fight for my marriage!”
“Adanma, Please stop hurting yourself with all these thoughts, I don’t see you that way and am sure most people don’t see you that way too…”
“You’re not most people!”
“This is beyond me, I have to call Mama”
“I’ve packed my things; no one will stop me.”
“And I won’t let you go till Mama gets here.”
“Mama welcome. Sorry I made you come out here so early. I can’t seem to handle this situation Adanma is giving me. I know you would be in the best position to handle this.”
“Adanma, How are you?” Mama asked but I was in the spirit.
“For over an hour she’s been pacing the entire room and speaking gibberish non-stop!”
“My daughter is heartbroken, I know. I know from the day she called in worry to tell me he has stopped picking her calls. I have been praying and fasting since then that all will be well for my daughter.”
“Thank you Mama” I swung towards her.
“Thank you Mama, I want to go to the mountain……. Why do you look so pale weak and older than your age?”
“Every day I call to check on you and you politely hang up on me. I feel your pain. Your pain is my pain. My sister, your aunt Olachi had this experience 20 years ago, I watched her struggle to gain her sanity back for 3 years. I could do nothing to save her, or so I thought. This time I will not let you be hopeless. I will follow you to the mountain. ”
I swung my arms over her shoulder and dropped my head on Mama’s chest, the tears I had been fighting hard to keep for months now rolled freely. At last, someone understands me and doesn’t think me crazy. My shoulders got wet, Mama cried too. I never meant to hurt her. Thoughts of putting my mum in so much pain made my bones vibrate and body shiver. I should have said no to his marriage proposal.
Mama straightened up and said. “Let’s go to the mountain!”
"Adanma, we've been on this mountain for 3 days now and I think it's time for you to move on" Mama said as she showed some serious motherly concern.
It was as if these words were signs from God to confirm the mixed feelings I'm having inside of me. Should I move on with life or still keep on hoping I will be with him again?
"You deserve more than that low life. You two were never meant to be. Just forget it and move on."
For the first time in the past few months I felt so relieved. It was like a great burden was lifted off my shoulders. These words brought back my missing parts and made them came together again.
"Thank you, Mama... I think I've been wasting too much time praying to God concerning what is impossible. I have decided to move on now. I have my life to live and he has his own too. I will never let him get into my head again." I assured Mama.
"I've allowed him to get the best part of me for too long. Not anymore." I said to myself.
Mama and I left the place where we were praying and went to the prophet - prophet Moses. He was the one who started a prayer center on that mountain.
He had a bell in his hand which he struck several times. He also said series of prayers and paused to sing a song or two at interval as he prayed. And with each song he sang, he danced like someone with convulsion or to better put it - someone who stepped on a life electric wire.
One would have taken him for a fake prophet for his dramatic ministrations but it is obvious from the results he gets that God is with him. (His only problem was the fact that he couldn't resist falling into the diverse temptations with ladies that visit the mountain for prayer.)
He advised me that it is time I move on and forget about the past. He read a verse of the Bible to me which says, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice."
"I still could not believe that it is you that I'm seeing this happy again my daughter," Mama said as she came to sit down beside me on the two seated sofa. "You look very beautiful."
She made me remember the good old days when she'll make me sit beside her while she tells me stories.
"I heard someone knocking at the door Mama. Let me go get it."
"I will get it" Mama offered...
"Adanma could this be you? " Queen said ecstatically as she draws closer to pull me up from the sofa. She made me turn 360 to make sure she saw all part of me. "You look very beautiful my dear." She reaffirmed what Mama said.
"What's going on girl?" She asked with a puzzled look.
"I was on my way out before you came. Mama was the one delaying me with her flattering and several compliments."
"Where is this place you are going that has no name?" she asked.
"You will get to know, but not today. If you don't mind I'm late already and I would like to go."
Mama and Queen couldn't contain their amazement as it was clearly shown in the way they watched me leave the house.
It is now becoming constant for me to leave the house well dressed and come back late in the night. That has been the only thing that has given me joy in a long time.
"Young lady, you can't just come home anytime you want late in the night." Mama protested.
"If you don't like it Mama go back to your husband's house."
"My husband is dead and you are the only one left for me. I'm not going to watch you do like this. "
"I'm old enough Mama".
"You can never be too old not to take my correction. Sit down young lady!"
"I'm sorry Mama. I'm very tired and I need rest."
"I'm not going to allow you make the same mistake you made with your husband again ..."
"Mama please don't ever call that man my husband. How many times do I have to tell you? " I screamed at her as I went into my room.
I apologized to Mama in the morning for talking to her very rudely last night and promised never to raise my voice at her again.
"I don't know how to break this news to Mama. Will she be happy or angry? I want her to be the first person to hear. I haven't even told my friend Queen. How would she react too?" These were the thoughts that bothered my heart as I paced up and down my room.
"I'm telling Mama," I said to myself. Getting out of my room I met my so called husband. He wore a black shirt nicely tucked in a blue jeans.
"Who showed you the way to this place?" I mocked him.
"It's our house, remember?"
"No. I built this house so it is not our house but my house. By the way, why are you here? Have you come to start from where you left? Do you think I'll come running to you this time again? Do you..."
"Enough Adanma!" he yelled at me. "I never hated you. I was just teaching you a lesson?"
"You called this a lesson?" I said, almost crying. "you left me for months. You did not check on me and you call it a lesson."
"I guess it was too extreme but you always treated me like I was nothing" he added. "Is it true that you are seeing another man? Is it true that you are going out with a man who is married with several kids? "
"How is that your business?" I said as I fight the tears that is beginning to well in my eyes.
"Is it true my dear Adanma...". Mama turned to me as if that was the only word that she has heard us say all through.
"Who is the man, Adanma... Answer me this moment!" he requested.
"It is the prophet... Prophet Moses..." I replied and was ashamed of myself for a moment.
"I know that you are under a spell. The prophet is fake and that's how he goes about snatching other people's wives. Let me back into your life and let's start all over again."
"I'm no longer your wife. Everything ended on July 4 when you send me that message that is over." The exact words of the messages keep playing over and over again in my head.
"You can move on, don't worry about me. I won't be coming back there again."
"And by the way, I'm two months pregnant from him."
Mama looked at me with confusion and he did the same too.
"But the doctors said so can't have a child," Mama said full of surprise.
"You mean you are having his chi..."
"Yes, you heard me right. He's more a man than you will ever be."
An hour after the sudden reappearance of my so called husband and his revelation of my affair with Moses to Mama, I was seated beside Queen, devastated and shocked of my overdue realization of how horrible a mistake I had made.
“How did I come into this mess?
How did I do something this heartless and inhumane?
How did I turn from the heart broken to the home breaker?”
These were questions running through my head to and fro. I longed for an answer but none came!
I left Queen’s house with the determination to change! What I had wasn’t love, it was just a temporarily infused infatuation which was definitely due to my naivety at that moment.
I met “prophet” Moses at the gate of his house just as I was about to enter.
“Adanma baby! What are you doing here? You know we agreed not to see each other at my place!”
I ignored his words and walked briefly into his house, I could see him walking relatively fast after me but he couldn’t catch up, he was definitely an old man, I wondered what I was doing with him.
“Adanma!!! Adanma!!!”, he kept calling out.
“Where do you think you are going????”
I stormed Into his apartment and met his wife seated in the living room, legs crossed and eyes focused on the TV, I could see the rays of the setting sun reflecting through the open windows into the living room, creating a cherry colored atmosphere.
I quickly knelt down in front of her and pled...
“I don’t know what I’ll say to you today that’ll ever make things right, but I’m deeply sorry for....”
“My daughter, please rise. I know the man I got married to and I have known what has been going on between you and him. It’s not even the first time, this bad habit of his has become a routine and I actually feel bad for the ladies that fall for his old charms.”
I was astounded at what his wife was saying but I kept listening.
At that point Moses stormed into the house, the shock on his face when he saw me kneeling before his wife was a knowing one, he silently stood beside the door and waited.
“You this good for nothing man!!”
His wife bellowed after him
“Thank God this young woman has realized the kind of demon you are, I wonder when all your promiscuity will end!!”
She hissed and walked out of the setting!
I was in tears but I could feel the heavy weight being lifted from my chest. I stood and ran out of the house without saying another word to Moses, I discarded my phone on my way home and I wept all through, I was still weeping when I ran into Mama’s arms at home.
“It’s over Mama, it’s all over now”
I said to her.
I was already through my second trimester, currently in Germany for the holiday with a distant relative, I definitely wasn’t going back.
I had started applying for my masters degree in a university here and I was going to resume as soon as my baby was 6 months old.
“I am not a failure
I am not broken
I can survive“
Those were the words I said to MySelf as I walked on the beach that Christmas evening.
My life was getting back together.
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